Officials hope to build new library

PARSONS – The Tucker County Commission learned Wednesday a new facility may be built for the Mountain Top Library in Thomas.

Librarian Ivonne Martinez said the library has set a goal of building a new 3,000 square-foot facility that will cost approximately $300,000. She and members of the Friends of the Mountain Top Public Library are working to raise at least half that amount to leverage grant funds.

Martinez said she has made it her personal goal for the library to come in first place at the Tucker Community Foundation Run For It this year.

“I want to make sure every child in this county reads,” Martinez said. “I want them to move forward and have all their dreams come true.”

“I have been at the Mountain Top Library for seven years, and I am surprised how much busier it has become,” Martinez said. “In the beginning, no one was coming in but we are much busier now.”

Martinez listed ways the library helps the community. She said annual attendance grew from 5,896 in 2012 to 5,982, and the total circulation from 5,322 to 6,792. Registered users at the Mountain Top Library grew from 637 to 810.

“These numbers for a community with 1,200 people are astounding,” Commissioner Mike Rosenau said. “I think it’s good.”

Martinez said the library received $28,845 from state and local funding in 2013, including $15,531 from grants in aid, $11,000 from the Tucker County Commission and $2,315 from the municipality, which comes from the water bills.

Self-funding for 2013 included $5,351 from fundraising, $470 from book sales, $10,000 from a grant for a new roof and carpet, donations of $13,076 and library fees of $1,113. She said the library fees come from copies and faxes, which are much less expensive than anywhere else nearby.

She said the library received about the same state and local funding in 2014, totaling $28,655. Self-funding, at $21,512, is about the same, Martinez said, without the one-time grant of $10,000 for new carpet and roofing.

– In other business, Tucker County Commission members accepted the resignation of Hoy “Pete” Roy from the Tucker County Development Authority and approved the appointment of new Parsons Councilman Bruce Kolsun.

Also, Tucker Community Corrections Program Director Dustin Luzier said program participants completed 3,927 service hours in the county during the past year. He said having folks take part in the Community Corrections program, as opposed to being in jail, saved the county $431,000 in jail fees.

The Tucker County Commissioners also congratulated the 9 and 10-year-old Little League All-Star teams on going to the state tournaments in Charleston.

The next meeting of the Tucker County Commission is slated for 6 p.m. July 23.